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Rising from the northwestern tip of the island, in the same direction of the city, is the small Fort of Sao Marcos, a fortified square tower, more suited to signal incoming and outgoing ships than to defend entry. At another end of the land, and at the immediate entrance of the port, is the Ponta da Areia Fort;

Ponte da Areia

Inside the harbor, very close to the city, are the ruins of an ancient castle, the Fort of Sao Francisco, which dominates the canal, where the ships anchor. On the land side, there are no fortifications at all. It almost seems that the people trusted the dangerous reefs and sandbars with which the ocean surrounded this city as a protective wall, and which failed against so many companies of the early settlers and the French and Dutch invaders. At a distance of 12 to 13 miles is a sandbar, the Middle Crown, which divides the navigable waters into the harbor, through the west channel and the east channel.


The latter, the busiest, is bordered to the east by a large bank. Coroa Grande extends far between the northern shore of the island and Sant'Ana Island.

Coroa Grande beach

Closer to the continent, and northwest of Ponta de Sao Marcos, the dangerous shoal Bank of Acercas is located, and west of the harbor entrance, the fiery sea

Medo Island

breaks in the Boqueirao, on the northern side of the small island of Medo. These unique locations, certain irregular currents between the sandbanks, the cliffs and the beach, and the flooding of the sea during the flood and ebb, are undoubtedly considerable means of defense for the city. The pre-sea occurs in Maranhao, in the moon phases, at seven o'clock. In the port, the high tide rises to 18 feet, and the low tide 15; outside the port, it rises only to12 and then drops about nine feet.

In Maranhao the authorities are the same as those of the other provinces. The governor and chairman of the Royal Treasury Board, with the following advisors: the district ombudsman, as crown and treasury judge; the out-of-town judge as prosecutor; the writer of the farm taxes; the treasurer and the steward of the Arsenal. Many of the public rents are paid by the Junta da Arrecadacao to rich individuals. Since 1812, Maranhao has had a Court of Appeal, consisting of 10 Counselors (Half Relationship). It appeals from here only to the Supplication of Rio de Janeiro. The Ombudsman and the Judge-in-Office perform the duties of the Ombudsman. As a special office, the Royal Board was created here; It is intended to guarantee the limits of diocesan jurisdiction. The municipal business administration is the responsibility of the Camara, the assembly of citizens, whose head is the judge. In Maranhão, in these last thirty years, they have only elected Brazilians born to members of this Chamber, who, as the municipal magistrates of Porto, enjoy the Privileges of Infancoes.